Archive for the ‘Workflow’ Category

What is Cloud Computing?

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

There is so much talk nowadays about Cloud computing I thought it might be helpful to discuss the topic in a way that I think everyone can understand. So here is a three-part article on Cloud computing broken up in three topics: (1) What is Cloud computing, (2) What are the benefits of Cloud computing and (3) What is the future of Cloud computing?

According to Wikipedia, cloud computing is internet computing whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices on demand similar to an electricity grid.

Cloud computing is a paradigm shift following the shift from mainframe to client-server in the early 1980s. Details are abstracted from the users, who no longer have need for expertise in, or control over, the technology infrastructure “in the cloud” that supports them. Cloud computing describes a new supplement, consumption, and delivery model for IT services based on the Internet, and it typically involves over-the-Internet-provision of dynamically scalable and often virtualized resources. It is a byproduct and consequence of the ease-of-access to remote computing sites provided by the Internet.

The term “cloud” is used as a metaphor for the internet, based on the cloud drawing used in the past to represent the telephone network, and later to depict the Internet in computer network diagram as an abstraction of the underlying infrastructure it represents. Typical cloud computing providers deliver common business applications online that are accessed from another Web service or software such as a Web browser, while the software and data are stored on servers.

Most cloud computing infrastructure consists of services delivered through common centers and built on servers. Clouds often appear as single points of access for all consumers’ computing needs. Commercial offerings are generally expected to meet quality of service (QoS) requirements of customers and typically include SLAs. The major cloud-only service providers include Salesforce.com, Amazon and Google.

According to wikiinvest.com, a simple example of cloud computing is Yahoo email or Gmail. You don’t need software or a server to use them. All a consumer needs is an internet connection and you can start sending emails. The server and email management software is all on the cloud (internet) and is totally managed by the cloud service provider Yahoo, Google, etc. The consumer uses the software alone and enjoys the benefits.

Beneficial Bank Launches New Intranet

Monday, October 12th, 2009

The first week in October, after several months of development, WWWC launched a SharePoint Intranet for Beneficial Bank.

Beneficial Bank is a full service bank that has been serving the Delaware Valley community since 1853. Headquartered in Philadelphia, PA, the company has 70 neighborhood branches and provides a modern work environment for over 1,000 employees.

Beneficial previously had an Intranet, but it was primarily made up of static HTML files. Every time Beneficial wanted to add or edit content it required the department managers to write tedious HTML code, which took a great deal of time. Consequently, the Intranet was not being kept up to date.

Another downside of Beneficial’s Intranet was that its look and feel had not kept pace with the bank’s branding so it looked out of synch with the public website and the bank’s marketing materials.

Beneficial Bank’s senior management decided to use Microsoft’s SharePoint server for the new Intranet. As SharePoint experts, we were chosen to customize the Intranet to meet the bank’s needs. Beneficial had learned about WWWC from management who had previously worked at Commerce Bank, whose entire Intranet, used by the bank’s thousands of employees on a daily basis, was developed by WWWC.

WWWC first set up the SharePoint portal server. Taking advantage of SharePoint’s built-in security, content management, and document management features, WWWC was able to establish sites specific to each department. This allowed department managers to maintain their own Intranet content without the need to know HTML or other programming technologies.

Beneficial’s new Intranet looks nothing like a traditional SharePoint website. With workflow, departments, and permissions in mind, WWWC started with a planning stage before the software was installed and followed the process all the way through configuration. By writing actual tutorial documents with screen captures, WWWC showed Beneficial Bank how it could configure departments by using the software. WWWC also set up a branded interface, which required the bypassing of the pre-made templates offered by SharePoint.

Some of the benefits Beneficial is now realizing with its new Intranet include:

  • Customized and optimized employee-centric software for the company’s needs
  • Improved standard template layouts and user-friendly, branded interface
  • Accessible tutorial documents on configuration for bank employees for easy updating
  • Improved and streamlined department collaboration for increased productivity

Salesforce and Google AdWords

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

Ever since Google launched its AdWords program, businesses all over the world have used it to generate motivated leads through efficient and automatic ad campaigns. Now Salesforce has joined with Google to create a specialized program that uses Google’s existing AdWords model to maximize and streamline marketing for your company.

Salesforce makes it easy to set up new AdWord campaigns right from your Salesforce account. Salesforce also makes it easy to link your existing AdWords account to your new CRM program. This integration gives you even greater control over managing your ad campaigns and maximizing your leads.

While Google makes it easy to review each AdWord campaign and determine the most efficient use of your advertising budget, Salesforce gives you targeted feedback relative to your marketing campaign. With Salesforce, you can see the exact leads generated through each Google AdWord campaign, providing you with a thorough view of your marketing plan from the click point on a website to active clients.

Salesforce also gives you a comprehensive look at organic lead generation through integrated lead tracking software. Where Google AdWords helps you better organize your marketing campaign, the organic lead tracking programs help you visualize how individual clients found your site via search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and MSN. Not only does this help you determine your company’s exposure online, you can use it to improve existing pages on your website to attract even more organic search hits.

The revenue tracking programs in Salesforce also help you determine the return on investment (ROI) for your marketing plan through Google. Salesforce gives you a complete overview of what’s working and what needs to be changed. Since the Google programs are incorporated into the Salesforce marketing model, all of your revenue statistics are recorded in real time, giving you even greater control over small and large changes for the immediate future. The Salesforce model also lets you fully customize your dashboards to track the success of your marketing strategy.

By integrating Google resources into the Salesforce package, Salesforce has created a streamlined process to help any business maximize the potential of profitable internet resources. This unique combination of programs improves communication with associates and customers, streamlines collaborations within your business, and provides immediate targeted feedback from online marketing campaigns. With Google applications, Salesforce raises the standards of business development and provides any company with the tools they need to build a successful future online.

Salesforce, Google Docs and Google Calendar

Friday, September 25th, 2009

Google Docs provides users with an easy way to share documents and files safely online. This remarkable program also eliminates the hassle of attaching and downloading files and gives everyone the ability to read and make changes. Salesforce gives you direct access to Google Docs through an easy tab browser.

Salesforce also lets you link these doc files to existing records or other Salesforce files, giving you greater ability to organize and crosslink clients and information. This integration also gives you the ability to search for Google Docs within the system and even helps you create quotes and proposals that you can post to Google Docs for use in collaboration with partners and associates. You can also use spreadsheets with this software feature, giving you even more flexibility for sharing information.

Google Calendar makes it easy to plan and organize important events and deadlines, and Salesforce helps you synchronize and exchange all your calendars through one convenient system. Simply update an event in Salesforce and set it to synchronize with a Google Calendar to share the events with others. You can also create timelines and deadlines for projects to help you visualize your workload.

Salesforce also allows you to customize your Google Start Page by displaying important dashboard components right when you open your browser. This feature gives you a fast, overall view of your Salesforce progress, deadlines, or task lists without having to open Salesforce separately.

Next article will discuss Salesforce and Google Adwords.

Salesforce and Google Applications

Friday, June 19th, 2009

Google has developed some of the most widely-used internet applications in the business world, and Salesforce has created a system to integrate these programs into its versatile software package. Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar, Google Talk and Google Start Page are all part of the Salesforce system.

Gmail is one of the most trusted email programs available today. In order to maximize consumer and associate communication, Salesforce combines Google’s user-friendly system into the Salesforce business model. With this combination, you can automatically copy emails to your Salesforce sources to help you keep better track of important correspondence. Furthermore, integrated Gmail buttons make it easy to send emails from your business Gmail account from selected customer pages on Salesforce. These same buttons also appear next to any email address in the Salesforce system, making it even easier to keep in touch with important clients and associates.

Google Talk is just as easy to use as Gmail, and Salesforce has integrated this instant messaging system right into the Salesforce programs. You can assist clients, collaborate on sales calls, and coordinate with partners without leaving the Salesforce system. The Talk button appears right on the Salesforce page, making it easy to find your partners without leaving Salesforce.

Next article will discuss Google Docs and Google Calendar.